“It was that mid-way drift along the highway, over the middle white line on the road, the line that separated nowhere from being. Once you cross it there is no going back. Elvis died. Nowhere was being. Being was nothing, all nothing happening fast. I felt the bars of Graceland’s gates against my cold, charcoal, chiaroscuro fireplace eyes. The distant whispers of matchstick kisses lingered across my bruised, open, waterfall mouth. Dark mascara rivers ran down my broken Snow White red fairytale smile. Loneliness had set into my bones, the kind of loneliness that you have to hit hard, against a wall or with a knife, to prise the icy melancholy out. I was bone and sadness. I was the wall, the knife. I was a pen and my bed sheets were paper. Every night I left ink stains, markings, messages and mistakes. Sometimes I woke up and it said “too much”, sometimes it said “enough”. Other mornings I’d wake up to find “MORE” written all over my pillowcases in strange and unfamiliar handwriting.
I was the ice cube, picked up out of a glass of cold water and held like a small crystal ball. His eyes made blue matchstick sparks in mine like he set my heart on fire and watched me melt. He could see no future in me, because I had ‘nothing’ and ‘nowhere’ written all over my hands, cheeks. These wrong words were all tangles and tied like ribbons to my hair. I was the water that fell out of his hand and onto the floor. And so I had no face, no shape or shadow in the present. I looked out into the future and I did not see any reflection staring back. The past was all that I could see, taste, feel and breathe. The glass shattered, the mirror smashed and the straight line that cut through the dark desert highway distorted, fractured and forked.
The past and Baudelaire were all that I could think about. I was the wound. I was the knife. I woke up unknown. I fell into a well of all and nothing, of being and nothing. I was nothing. I was nowhere, all happening so fast. I fell and disappeared, diluted in the waters of a deep, dark well. I was silent, I was absent, drowned and gone. I chartered my descent into these destructive depths. I wanted to remember where I had been. I found myself one morning lying still, playing dead, a tangle of tears with my heart cut to ribbons, alone, empty and lonely on a bathroom floor, nowhere, nothing. I left a trail of breadcrumbs to the place where I melted like an ice cube and I fell to the floor like water, spilled. I was dead to me.”
(The Bardo Retreat, Copyright © 2014 Rose Lois Presley)